Forgotten Frights is back! To celebrate the second anniversary of our annual horror movie roundup, every weekday for the next month we’re going to sound off on a scary good sequel (or, if we want some cheese with our corn syrup, a schlocky second), ruminating on the returns of our favourite monsters, murderers, heroes (or heroines), creepies, crawlies, chills and thrills.
What came before it: The first two films in the Halloween series, those classic slasher flicks following mass murderer/William Shatner mask enthusiast Michael Myers on his pursuit of his sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and his psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance).
What remains: Laurie returns to fight off her estranged bro on the 20th anniversary of their first meeting (and the events of the first film), that fateful night when Mike escaped from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and came at her, her friends and the kids she was babysitting with a butcher knife. It’s even more a family affair this time, with Laurie’s son (Josh Harnett) and his friends also being targeted. Dr. Loomis, however, is nowhere to be found, presumably seeing as he died by Michael’s hand in the sixth flick (Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers).
Why it deserves a second (or third, or fourth) chance:
- It is specifically designed with fans in mind, making many references to earlier instances in the series (i.e. the nurse from Halloween and Halloween II appears in the opening scene, there are closet stabbing flashbacks). This is most likely Kevin Williamson’s (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer) doing. Apparently he wrote the first draft of the script.
- There are nods to other non-Halloween horror classics as well. My favourite has to be the interaction between Curtis and her mom, Psycho star Janet Leigh. As the two converse as coworkers on screen, you can hear the Psycho theme and see Marion Crane’s Ford Sedan in the background.
- The supporting cast is kinda out of control. In addition to Hartnett, we’ve got a young Michelle Williams and one of the most badass iterations of LL Cool J ever (next to the one in Deep Blue Sea).
- A 3rd Rock era Joseph Gordon Levitt also makes an brief appearance … before getting a skate to the face!
- The ridiculous events of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth movies are basically ignored. I mean, those ones claimed Laurie Strode, the original Survivor Girl, has died! As if!
- “Mr. Sandman” is back and as haunting as ever. Although it technically didn’t come into play until Halloween II, I’ve always considered it the unoriginal soundtrack to the series.
- Creed provides an original song for the actual soundtrack. Just in case you didn’t realize that it was shot and released in the late ’90s.
- There is a brilliant showdown scene between Michael and Laurie involving cafeteria tables.
- The ending is a perfect wrap-up to the series, providing brutal closure for both Laurie and the viewers. That is, if you ignore the fact that Halloween: Rescurrection and those awful Rob Zombie adaptations exist.